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Saturday 17 November 2018

Morrison hitting fast lane in Tralee

KERRY MADE: Morrisson. Photo by Barry Cregg/Sportsfile
KERRY MADE: Morrisson. Photo by Barry Cregg/Sportsfile

From Kingston, Jamaica to Tralee in Kerry may seem an unlikely leap, but that's the journey sprinter Travane Morrison made last October when he started a master's degree at IT Tralee.

"IT Tralee came to Jamaica offering scholarships and I thought 'why not?' I wanted to get away but not to either the USA or England where everyone goes. I prefer a quieter life!" said Morrison after helping Kerry County to silver in the National Track and Field League division 1 finals at Tullamore last weekend.

A half-fit Morrison first attracted attention at the Irish Universities Indoors last February when he finished third in the 60m and second in the 200m.

He went on to win the Irish Universities outdoor 100m in April, running 10.50 secs in the semi-finals and improved that to a lifetime best of 10.41 secs at the Cork City Sports.

A fortnight later, he was second behind Leon Reid in the 100m at the Irish Championships in Santry.

So what's the secret? "I'm coaching myself! In Jamaica, I competed at the high school races and people had noticed me. But there are so many sprinters in Jamaica it can be hard to get anywhere."

Studies also took priority. "While I was at college, I didn't train as hard because passing my exams was more important to me."

The thesis he is working on concerns the positive effects of exercise and medication on kidney transplant patients and in June, he attended European Transplant and Dialysis Championships in Sardinia, Italy with the Irish team.

Morrison will remain in Tralee until next May but he may stay longer. "It depends on whether I can find work. I looked into applying for a PhD in DCU - but Dublin is too expensive for me!"

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